Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When Pigs Fly: shaping games

My copy of When Pigs Fly arrived this afternoon, when I was supposed to be preparing for a seminar I'm leading this evening. So I put aside my notes for the seminar and started reading all about flying pigs. Killon starts off by reminding us owners of non-biddable dogs about the need to shape rather than lure behavior. (Being an impatient sort, I nearly always lure.) So I dug out a wine box, set it on the floor, and started shaping. Vanya likes to play games. If something new appears in his environment, if he can't eat it, he usually steps on it:

At first, I shaped getting in the box, although it hardly counts as shaping if that's his first impulse (sniff? look at the box? nahh, I'll just hop inside). Then I shaped sitting in the box. Then I flipped the box over and aimed for standing on the box, then sitting, then once he started to lie down, I figured my next criterion could be: lying down on top of the box.

Cute, isn't he?

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